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Cablegate: Part 3 of 4 -- Asd (Apsa) Gregson Participates In

VZCZCXRO2410
PP RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHKO #1882/01 2260736
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 140736Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5457
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHOVVKG/COMSEVENTHFLT PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHKO/USDAO TOKYO JA PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USFJ PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 TOKYO 001882

SIPDIS

DOD FOR OSD/APSA -
GREGSON/MITCHELL/SCHIFFER/HILL/BASALLA/ARAKEL IAN
JOINT STAFF FOR J5 - MILLER
STATE FOR EAP, PM/ISN
PACOM FOR J00/J01/J5
USFJ FOR J00/J01/J5
USFK FOR J00/J01/J5

E.O. 12958: DECL: AFTER KOREAN REUNIFICATION
TAGS: PREL PARM MARR MNUC KN KS JA
SUBJECT: PART 3 OF 4 -- ASD (APSA) GREGSON PARTICIPATES IN
JULY 16-17 U.S.-JAPAN-ROK DEFENSE TRILATERAL TALKS

REF: A. 08 SECDEF 8291
B. TOKYO 1879
C. TOKYO 1881

Classified By: James P. Zumwalt, Charge d'Affaires, a.i.; reasons 1.4 (
b/d)

Please see Tokyo 1879 and 1881 for parts 1 and 2 of this
cable.

25. (S) To manage the situation, Takahashi continued, it
will be necessary for the United States, Japan, and the ROK
to disrupt the DPRK's nuclear endeavors, coordinate on
responses to actions, and maintain clear defense postures for
deterrence. It will especially be important to have a
toolbox of measures to deploy should there be a sudden change
in the situation, such as regime collapse, Takahashi
asserted. He recommended the following as areas for
trilateral cooperation: continuing the DTT; coordinating
responses and sharing information on DPRK's missile
development; sharing information to implement UNSCR 1874;
sharing future scenarios; cooperating on the Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI); and engaging in trilateral
humanitarian and disaster relief (HA/DR), search and rescue,
and counter-piracy exercises.

26. (S) MOD DG Takamizawa commented that it will be
important to respond appropriately to North Korean
provocations. Calm responses might not always be the answer
as they may signal to the DPRK that the United States, Japan,
and the ROK are not taking Pyongyang's bait, hence
emboldening the DPRK further. Takamizawa also noted that
even if Japan did not pass the cargo inspection bill, due to
the current domestic political situation, Japan could still
legally take other action such as conducting surveillance
flights and sharing information that would help implement
UNSCR 1874.

27. (S) MOFA DDG Tomita said the overall goal is to resolve
the North Korean issue by diplomatic means and that the
Six-Party Talks and China's bilateral engagement with the
DPRK should continue. He lamented, however, that these
efforts have not changed the DPRK's behavior and that Kim
Jong-il's failing health and a possible succession would put
a diplomatic solution further out of reach. UN Security
Council Resolutions are the most legal and powerful political
weapons available to the international community for
preventing the DPRK from becoming a nuclear state, Tomita
continued. When the UNSC takes action, even nations like
Libya, Sudan and Iran cannot consider the DPRK's actions
legitimate. China, Tomita noted, will continue to pressure
the DPRK to avoid becoming isolated in the UNSC. Beijing is
pressed into action when it perceives possible instability on
its borders or in the region that could disrupt its economic
growth. While it is hard to simulate such instability, it is
important that the United States, ROK, and Japan show China
that the three countries are serious and have a firm resolve
toward North Korea. Given Kim Jong-il's failing health and
the possibility of instability in North Korea, perhaps it is
time to deepen trilateral discussions on potential regime
collapse scenarios for which the United States, Japan, and
ROK would shoulder most of the response burden, Tomita
offered.

------------------------------------
Response to North Korea: U.S. Briefs
------------------------------------

28. (S) DASD Schiffer provided DOD's perspective on the DPRK
issue, underscoring North Korea's goal to become a nuclear
weapons state and stressing the importance of a unified
approach. Schiffer emphasized that, while many DPRK
provocations are attributed to succession planning, some
actions indicate that many events were planned well before
the onset of Kim Jong-il's sickness. Nevertheless, to
minimize risk and maximize opportunities in the situation,
the United States, Japan, and ROK need to send non-escalatory
signals to North Korea, institutionalize trilateral
cooperation, amplify defense commitments, fully implement
UNSCR 1874, and assure adequate preparedness for DPRK
provocations.

29. (S) Elaborating on areas in need of cooperation, Lt Gen
Rice discussed steps to enhance trilateral BMD cooperation.
Rice explained the constraints imposed on BMD because
information sharing occurs exclusively in bilateral
U.S.-Japan and U.S.-ROK channels. More effective BMD is
possible with trilateral information sharing, with
significant benefits from shared knowledge and capabilities.
Successful BMD information sharing, coordination response,
and resource-sharing between the United States and Japan in
the last three years demonstrate potential trilateral gains,
Rice said.

30. (S) OSD Transnational Threat Policy Director Steven
Schleien briefed on cooperative UNSCR 1874 implementation,
elaborating on sovereign rights and operational aspects of
UNSCR 1874. Schleien stressed that UNSCR 1874 differs from
1718 in allowing seizure and disposal of contraband and
pointed out that nations have sovereign rights to inspect
North Korean vessels in their territory and ports. Exercise
of sovereign rights is not contingent on meeting reasonable
conditions outlined in the resolution. The onus is on the
DPRK to demonstrate compliance. By demonstrating a unified
stance, the international community will convey global norms
to the DPRK and signal that diplomacy is the only viable
path, Schleien asserted.

31. (S) Embassy Tokyo Charg d'Affaires, a.i. Ron Post
provided a brief on strategic communications, outlining the
essential role of coordinated public messaging in managing
the North Korea situation. Post emphasized the need to
include public communications in the planning stages to
ensure appropriate public messages regarding DPRK
provocations in different scenarios. Avoiding a crisis
atmosphere is important, as a panic-riddled environment
limits maneuverability for states and reduces effectiveness
in responses. Projection of coordinated preparation with
Alliance partners via consistent public messaging is
imperative, he asserted. Maintaining visible contact between
leaders and counterparts in each country is productive, while
publicly speculating potential outcomes of coordination
between parties is not. When provocations occur during the
daytime in Asia, absent immediate responses from Washington,
the ROK and Japan, together with the resident U.S. Embassies,
should maintain the official line, Post stressed.

32. (S) ASD Gregson characterized the three governments'
response to date as strong, calm, and steady, and he noted
that nobody is characterizing North Korean actions as a
crisis. DASD Schiffer said the U.S. Government believes this
is an inflection point where North Korea sought to become an
ICBM-capable, nuclear weapons state. Noting the likelihood
that future North Korean actions would involve the NLL and
DMZ, Schiffer also advocated consideration of future
provocations directed at Japan or Guam and incorporation of
these scenarios into the trilateral dialogue. DM Kim agreed
with DASD Schiffer's assessment and noted that it would be
wise not to focus solely on threats directed at the ROK.
PACOM J-5 Director MajGen Alles proposed a trilateral
observation of a ballistic missile test shot scheduled for
December 9 in Kauai to start a policy-level dialogue on
furthering cooperation on information sharing. DG Takamizawa
expressed support for the idea, adding there are other
exercise observation opportunities as well, including the
U.S. Navy SM-3 test shot in early 2010, as well as Nimble
Titan. DM Kim stated that the ROK delegation would review
the proposals positively upon return to Seoul.

----------------------
Post-brief Discussions
----------------------

33. (S) DM Kim summarized three main discussion points on
implementing UNSCR 1874: 1) surveillance and interdiction; 2)
information sharing; and 3) understanding of each country's
legal restrictions. The three governments need to find
effective means to cooperate on the first two items, to
engage in trilateral table top exercises, and to work toward
combining their respective regional activities. Responding
to Takamizawa's query on ideas for moving forward, Kim
explained that the ROK government is reviewing its national
plan for implementing UNSCR 1874 to be presented at the UN
Security Council on July 27. Under the plan, MOFAT leads
interagency coordination and provides guidance on roles and
missions specific to each government ministry and agency for
implementation. The plan also provides for ROK observation
of multinational training exercises, Kim added. DASD
Schiffer suggested the DTT Working Group should, during its
meeting in the fall, establish modalities for a UNSCR 1874
action group to report to next year's DTT. Both Kim and
Takamizawa agreed to the idea.

34. (S) DASD Schiffer proposed convening a trilateral
track-1 workshop on strategic communication, crisis response
and management, to be hosted by the Asia Pacific Center for
Security Studies (APCSS). DG Takamizawa noted that he
supports the U.S. proposal in principle, but added that ROK
and Japanese ideas and thoughts ought to be incorporated into
any workshop, as APCSS programs, while sophisticated, tend to
be biased toward the U.S. perspective. He pointed out that
such a workshop is, nevertheless, extremely useful, as
strategic communication between the ROK and GOJ has been
insufficient, leaving the United States to assume the
intermediary role. Despite valiant efforts by Korean and
Japanese Defense Attaches in both capitals, the Japanese
government at times feel frustrated by the lack of
communication even during the missile launches.

35. (S) ASD Gregson remarked that the APCSS should not be
viewed as the exclusive venue and that the workshop could be
hosted by Japan or Korea in any venue agreeable to all
parties. DM Kim stated that the ROK delegation would review
the U.S. proposal and do its best to participate. He agreed
that all three countries should institutionalize trilateral
dialogue on strategic communication. He also expressed
interest in promoting new channels of communication and
re-invigorate existing channels at different levels of
government among the DTT partners. As suggested by
Takamizawa, all three parties should review the discussion
materials and share each other's briefs prior to the APCSS
workshop to allow productive discussion, Kim said.

--------------------------------
National Defense Strategies: QDR
--------------------------------

36. (S) DASD Schiffer outlined the QDR process and portrayed
it as a balancing exercise between resources and efforts.
Addressing current endeavors with an eye to future
contingencies, DASD Schiffer stated that the QDR will address
violent extremist movements, the spread of weapons of mass
destruction, rising powers with sophisticated weapons, failed
or failing states, and increased encroachment in the global
commons (air, sea, space, cyberspace). Schiffer also noted
that the QDR will, for the first time, incorporate
non-traditional security challenges of climate change and
energy security. DM Kim inquired about the extent to which
the U.S. Government would solicit the opinions of its allies.
DASD Schiffer replied that the QDR is an open process and
that meetings with the QDR team can be arranged to address
specific concerns from allied governments.

--------------------------------------------- --
National Defense Strategies: ROK Defense Reform
--------------------------------------------- --

37. (S) LTC Kim Dong-gyun presented ROK Defense Reform Basic
Plan (DR 2020), focusing on both structural reform of the ROK
military, as well as management reform. (Note: According to
one U.S. delegation member, the content of DR 2020 was
previously classified, demonstrating a new ROK government
willingness to share sensitive information with Japan. End
Note.) The ROK government, through DR 2020, seeks to
strengthen Korea's defense capability by transforming the ROK
military into a technology-driven military structure capable
of dealing with comprehensive security threats. LTC Kim
noted that while the original DR 2020 reduced troops to the
500,000 level, the revised DR 2020 pegged the number of
troops at 517,000. Establishing a ground operation command
and transforming the ROK Navy, Kim added, are priorities, as
are increasing the ROK Air Force's tactical precision strike
capability and integrating and relocating scattered units.
ZUMWALT

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